There are 13 Holiday Inn Resort hotels in the United States. During the next three months, we’re going to visit all of them.

Today we start with the Holiday Inn Resort in Lake George, NY (see video, above). The Away is Home crew dropped in for a visit just after the busy Fourth of July holiday.

The centerpiece of the Lake George experience is Lake George, of course. The Adirondacks rising around it will remind you of a European alpine resort, except that this place is as American as it gets, from the red white and blue banners flapping in the breeze to the day-after fireworks on July 5 — you know, just to make sure you understood how independent this nation really is.

After a long day in the car and touring the state capitol in Albany, the kids immediately stripped down to their swim suits and jumped into the hotel pool. One of the very first things you’ll notice about the Holiday Inn lodging experience that sets it apart from other properties is the towel.

The signature blue-and-white striped towel, which is bigger than the standard hotel towel, is one of the most coveted hotel trinkets in modern lodging history. When you pick one up, you’ll understand why. It’s a great towel — soft, durable and attractive. I haven’t wanted a towel this much since staying at the Peninsula New York, which offers monogrammed luxury towels.

How popular are the towels? A few years ago, when Holiday Inn held Towel Amnesty Day, it reported losing half a million towels a year to thieves.

The adults really liked the rooms, which easily accommodated a five-person family. There’s even a refrigerator (empty, not one of those minibar refrigerators that suck money out of your account). And it was the first night in more than a week that we had a really good night’s sleep. The beds rock.

What’s the difference between a Holiday Inn Resort and Holiday Inn? We bumped into Michael Spilman, the Lake George property’s general manager this afternoon, and he explained it. In order to be a “Resort” you need a concierge, bellman, live entertainment and you must be within 10 miles of a resort area like Lake George.

We’re looking forward to this adventure and we hope you’ll follow us to all 13 properties. Here they are:

Holiday Inn Resort Daytona Beach Oceanfront (Daytona Beach, FL)
Holiday Inn Resort Fort Walton Beach (Fort Walton Beach, FL)
Holiday Inn Resort Castle I-Drive (Orlando, FL)
Holiday Inn Resort Panama City Beach (Panama City Beach, FL) 
Holiday Inn Resort Pensacola Beach Gulf Front (Pensacola, FL) 
Holiday Inn Resort Lake Buena Vista (Lake Buena Vista, FL) 
Holiday Inn Resort Waikiki Beachcomber (Honolulu, Hawaii)
Holiday Inn Resort Lake George – Turf (Lake George, NY)
Holiday Inn Resort Wilmington E-Wrightsville Beach (Wrightsville, NC)
The Lodge at Running Y Ranch, a Holiday Inn Resort (Klamath Falls, OR)
The Lodge at Eagle Crest, a Holiday Inn Resort (Redmond, OR)
The Beach House, a Holiday Inn Resort – Hilton Head Island (Hilton Head, SC)
Holiday Inn Resort Galveston – On the Beach (Galveston, TX)

Next up: Daytona Beach, Fla. See you there!